College taps into ex-students

02 May, 2008

Wine business students at Sussex-based Plumpton College will get the chance to import and sell former students' wines in an initiative that kicks off at

an on-campus open day next weekend .

Plumpton leads a foundation degree in wine business, but also hosts winemaking courses and WSET qualifications. Now students from the winemaking and wine business

areas will be

united in what the college is calling the Alumni Collection Project.

Head of wine Chris Foss explained: "The production students are very active in the growing of the grapes and the making of the wine, and the business students do help manage the Plumpton wine sales. We thought we would also get them involved in a more adventurous project, which is to sell former students' wines.

"We get students who now have vineyards in Australia, New Zealand, the south of France, California, Canada and all sorts of places like that. We can help them sell their wines and get their wines into the market, and give our students something a little bit different, a new experience trying to bring people's wines in and present them - and what better time to start than the open day?

"Last year we did four former students - one from New Zealand, two from France and one from the UK - at the open day, and all the wines sold out in a couple of hours. This year, we are bringing in wines from Greece, France, New Zealand, and a whole range of different places."

The college has applied for a grant to build up the Alumni Collection and import and store former students' wines on a much larger scale, to complement its portfolio of home-grown wines.

"People will be able to buy Plumpton wines, but also from former students of Plumpton's wines. We think it's a fun idea," said Foss.

Plumpton College's open day takes place on Saturday, May 10, from 10am-5pm, at the college campus near Lewes . As well as wine tasting and sales there will be horse riding, clay pigeon shooting, sheep shearing and careers advice. To find out more call 01273 890454 or visit

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